man tackling fire

How to beat the instinct to freeze in the case of fire


This recent news story about a local fire got us thinking about how people react in an emergency situation and reinforces the importance of knowing the steps to take should a fire break out.

In this case, because the family owned a glamping business, the adults were familiar with the correct process to follow in the case of a fire. They knew that the important thing was to leave the property quickly to keep themselves and their family safe.

In a fire situation, once you have left the premises and got everyone to safety and the fire service have been called, you can then take stock and see if you think there is anything you can do to try and tackle the fire. In this case there were a number of accessible fire extinguishers that were used to try and contain the fire.

You can read more of this remarkable story here . Unfortunately, a member of the family became unwell with a suspected heart attack but was treated at the scene of the fire by a firefighter who was also a trained paramedic.

If you have received training in what to do in case of a fire, even when you are under pressure or in an emergency situation, you should be able to recall the information you have absorbed and apply it. If you haven’t had any training, you may panic and do the wrong thing, or even freeze and be unable to act at all.

Sometimes, when we feel overwhelmed, we can stop thinking straight because our brains simply cannot process what is happening. This is a fairly common response when faced with a frightening incident and can mean that instead of getting ourselves and others to safety we become ‘paralyzed’ by fear and are simply unable to move or think.

If the correct response in the case of fire has been learned and practiced, the brain is able to access this information quickly in an emergency and take the appropriate action.

This is why we are firm believers in businesses investing in safety training for their staff.

The aim is to remain calm and be able collect your thoughts quickly, retaining judgement and reasoning. You may also need to deal with others who are shocked and bewildered and therefore slow to think and react or even some whose response is extreme – such as screaming, crying and unable to take any positive action at all.

We offer practical training courses that aim to teach people to understand the basics of practical fire safety. This allows recipients to understand the safety precautions required before the use of fire-fighting equipment, how to correctly service/check fire-fighting equipment, the different types of fire extinguishers and their uses, the potential risks of using fire-fighting equipment and how to use it correctly.

We also offer fire warden training, helping to ensure that staff and visitors evacuate the building safely in the event of a fire. Please get in touch if you would like to find out more about our work-based training